I read a very interesting article in this weekend's USA Today in the "Nation" section dealing with the tough job market that servicemembers return to after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan (I hope all those that serve were able to feel celebrated on Friday--THANK YOU cannot be said enough). Here are some of the statistics included in the article:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29.1% of Veterans ranging from ages 20 to 24 are jobless. The national rate is 9%.
Special partnerships have been created in Michigan, Utah, and Minnesota, aimed at getting veterans back to work. This caused me to think if any program exists to assist servicemembers in the field of education.
"Troops to Teachers" (http://www.dantes.doded.mil/Sub%20Pages/TTT/TTT_Main.html) provides "services to military personnel in beginning a second career...as a teacher". Funding for this program comes from the Department of Education and managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES)....which is funded by No Child Left Behind. In 2005, there was a Policy Revision that related the funding to those to taught before registering for "Troops to Teachers."
According to the USA Today article, more than 1 million servicemen and servicewomen will enter civilian life in the next five years. The number of vveteran's that have some sort of teaching experience is impossible to predict, but think about the characteristics you look for when filling a position within a school. I tend to think that many of our proud servicemembers possess those qualities, short of a teaching license. But I can't think of a better candidate for a "Lateral Entry" position, which allows an individual to teach with a degree in a related-field while completing required courses in a given timeline. In actuality, some of the best teachers I have worked with have been Lateral Entry.
It's currently a difficult time for anyone to find a job, especially in the education field. Colleges and Universities are graduating thousands of teachers with Bachelor's degrees with barely any teaching jobs available, not to mention districts across the country cutting positions due to their respective budgets.
All I hope is that some of our troops, once returning home safely, will consider entering a profession that provides the opportunity to impact so many lives in a positive way.
Thank you to all those who serve and secure the freedom for this great Nation.
The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.